Service is a core pillar of Dr. Singh’s work – her research, teaching and service are strongly intertwined. In recognition of her service she received the College of Communication and Information Service and Outreach Award, 2019 for her outstanding service to the School of Information Sciences, College of Communication, University of Tennessee and Professional Organizations. For a list of her committee work, please click here.
Some highlights of her recent service activities are:
1- Since 2016, Dr. Singh has been leading the efforts to develop, propose and offer a bachelor’s degree program at SIS. This year, SIS has completed all the stages of program approval and are looking forward to launching the bachelor’s program in Fall 2019. This is the first degree of its kind in the state of Tennessee. The process of getting this approval included:
• Feasibility study for the undergraduate major • Market research – state of TN policies, jobs, employers • Stakeholder research – surveyed target students, faculty and employers • Collecting letters of support from internal and external stakeholders • Coordination and collaboration with UTK, UT System and THEC representatives • Collaboration with the SIS faculty to develop and approve the new curriculum – this included 21 new courses, 2 new concentrations, and revisions of several courses. • Leading the program approval at the school, college, and Univesity undergraduate committees. • Getting program approval from an external evaluator, working on their feedback to improve the program proposal • Getting the UTK Board of Trustees, approval • Getting the program approval from THEC in Spring 2019.
2. In 2018 and 2019, Dr. Singh is organizing committee member of the Open Source Track at Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference
3. Service to the community: Dr. Singh is passionate about giving back to the places surrounding her. It gives her immense pride and pleasure to contribute to the community to which she belongs. Her research and teaching have a strong component of service to the community via empowerment of her students and stakeholders in her research. One of her research grants was for empowering rural librarians with technology and education and this has had a direct impact on at least 16 rural libraries and consequently communities. The second part of the same research is currently in progress and 13 students from rural libraries are being impacted positively by that. Another research grant of hers was designed to provide guidance and resources to practicing librarians about open source software. By doing this research, she is ensuring that librarians with limited technical expertise as well as limited budget will be able to use the latest technology for catering to their patrons. As a product of this research, librarians in low budget and low technical expertise libraries will be able to better serve their patrons by providing them services that they expect from the libraries.
She is an advocate for the use of open source software in libraries because it is a low-cost alternative and if librarians develop enough knowledge to understand the software and to know where to look for help when they need it, they can use technology to its fullest potential. An information portal based on the results of this research is located at OpenSourceILS and this portal is being used by librarians across the world to research about Open Source ILS options and she receives several positive remarks about the portal from such librarians consistently and this portal regularly receives new visitors from around the world.